14 April 2015

The big bland

My neighborhood is under attack by the gentrification monster. Think of it as a sort of central suburbanization, a cursed blandness. When a bank bought a whole block down the street a few years ago, it really sped up the process. First order of business was locking down everything. Before there was an antique warehouse in the back, and you could make a shortcut through the backyard, now it is a fortress. All the street level apartments facing the lakes, were converted into a row of fancy restaurants, run by the same owner, and on the corner we got yet another Copenhagen luxury bakery. The official kiss of death.

To make matters worse, apartments are bought by parents under beneficial conditions, subletting to their offspring at a song, and twisting the playing field for everyone else. Prices are skyrocketing, and there are very few affordable apartments left to rent. I want to run down the street like the crazy woman, in a bathrobe with curlers in her hair, yelling of them all to go home, and leave us alone. Picture that.

Petrified house

Fortunately, some areas of Nørrebro have not been gentrified yet, it almost makes you grateful for the butt ugly social housing blocks. There are no fancifying those. And, if you look in the cracks, you will find that there is still resistance.


Rantzausgade is still the real Nørrebro, where you can find free books in the street. Sharing and recycling is spreading like wildfire. We have become better at giving unwanted stuff away, swapping and making sure things are put to good use, rather than cluttering up landfills.


Gratis bøger / Free books (in English too). 
Thrown out on Monday evening, if no one wants them.

I hope Rantzausgade won't be chewed up and spit out by the big, bland gentrification monster any time soon. We need the oxygen.

I can't breathe

I can't breathe. Solidarity with all people of colour. Roller graffiti by Satan.


  1. I stayed in Norrebro while in Copenhagen. The architecture wasn't so great but I had fun. here was my impression of the city Copenhagen Denmark in a Nutshell cheers! :) (I am a fellow bloger so I like to read other peoples' writings

  2. I love your 'hood! Although I totally appreciate a good cup of coffee, I hope that the hipster café scene stays out ;)
    I will be visiting at the beginning of July! Hope we can meet for a glass of wine :)


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